There is a continuous ‘hum’ from what I would call premium content creators – folks in the film, music a television industry - about the value of their content and royalties as a result of the damage piracy is doing.

Is it really doing that much harm? Or are there some real questions to be asked about how businesses commercialise content for today’s markets?

Content goals disallowed

Last week the Premier League made some bold statements about a crack down on unofficial Vine videos of goals. They stated that they want to toughen up on copyright laws but I’m not sure this is the correct approach.

Let me tell you why...

Firstly, the Premier League is receiving unrivaled exposure through social sharing, which would have been difficult to muster through any controlled marketing activities. Social ‘goal sharing’ is helping increase advocacy, and continuing to feed UK consumers’ hunger for the “beautiful game”.

Secondly, I believe the Premier League needs to take a step back and look at the potential value this additional reach gives sponsors and advertisers. Perhaps instead of vilifying their most supportive fans with expensive legal action they should undergo a more proactive process of measurement.

This activity is providing enhanced reach and should be chargeable back to sponsors. Their advertisers are being seen by more customers and then again via more personalised media channels.

According to the Expenditure Report published by The Advertising Association and WARC earlier this year we are set to see another 6% rise in online advertising spend in 2014 alone. This begs the question, why wouldn’t the Premier League focus their energies on harnessing this growth?

Sounding out content monetisation

Defending the attacks from free content distribution isn’t just something the Premiership faces. Soundcloud, second only to mighty YouTube as a music streaming service, has yet paid a single penny of royalties to the creators and rightsholders who’s music plays on their site.

However, with pressure mounting from the music industry they are today taking the first steps to include advertising within their platform. Smart move as a consumer of free media, I believe it only right I should be subjected to advertising - it’s only fair.

So what’s the solution and what happens if brands can’t find a solution to recognising the true value of their content? More importantly, what happens to our freedoms as consumers? The answer is unclear.

However, one thing is certain,- monetizing content, although a scary prospect for some brands, can be an extremely exciting and profitable process, and something that companies should consider as part of their content strategy.

So as the content world changes daily, I’m inspired to see brands thinking outside the penalty box to recongnise the value of their content and would advocate the value free media can bring a business.